Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma

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The Writing Desk Post

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Here’s a post I guest-posted on Tony Riches’ fabulous blog: I’ve long loved the science fiction classics, like Dune, Foundation, Rendezvous with Rama and Fahrenheit 451. But I didn’t start out writing science fiction. I began with fantasies, westerns, mysteries, … Continue reading

Writing Dialogue

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There’s a real art to writing dialogue. You want it to have the feel of a real conversation without it actually being a real conversation. Real conversations are often deadly boring because of all the extraneous words tossed in (um, … Continue reading

Outline or not?

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Some writers outline. Others don’t. Should you? One of the benefits of outlining is that when you begin to write, you have a framework that you only need fill in. You know where the story is going, who the antagonist … Continue reading

Style vs. Substance

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Is it better to be a master stylist, with beautiful, flowing prose and a relatively limp story or a decent technician with a wonderful story? Obviously you want both, but that rarely happens. More often, you’re reading a story and … Continue reading

The most important part of any story

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The most important part of any story is character. You can have a wonderful idea, completely fresh and original, something that’s never been seen before, and if you can’t sell it with interesting, sympathetic characters, it will die on the … Continue reading

Negative vs. Positive Emotions

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It seems to me that most, if not all, negative emotions come from wishing the world was other than it is, while many positive emotions come from experiencing the world as it is. Why is it so difficult to just … Continue reading

Optimism vs. Pessimism

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If you expect the worst but hope for the best, does that make you a pessimist? And if that makes you a pessimist, shouldn’t everyone be one? Isn’t it better to prepare for the worst, just in case, rather than … Continue reading

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Every Breath You Take

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With every breath, our lungs take in molecules breathed by Jesus, Stalin, Ghandi, Hitler and Buddha, so each of us embodies the full range of human history – each of us needs to be aware of our place in the … Continue reading

Southwest Review Interview & Article

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There’s an article about my book in the Southwest Review. You can check it out at the following site: http://www.southwestreviewnews.com/articles/2013/08/05/west-st-paul-author-offers-%E2%80%98dilemma%E2%80%99-first-book#.UgOKbKzpjcw  

Write On! Radio Interview Transcript (edited)

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Edited Transcript from Write On! Radio Interview with Ian Graham Leask ~ IGL: This is the first book in a trilogy – what’s the ambition of it?  SM: The trilogy essentially follows Jeremiah Jones and a society on the edge … Continue reading

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